Monday, September 29, 2008

The Torturer AKA Force Drift

Here is a youtube trailer for a film I worked on recently, called Force Drift. It was selected for the London International Film Festival and seems to be doing well on the festival circuit. I was in charge of the audio for the film, which means I dealt with microphone placement, mixing, and recording all the dialogue and background ambience for the film. I'm really proud of the film and I think the actors did a terrific job, especially the male lead, Andrew Walker.

You can see more about the film here:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another one in the can

So in the film biz, when stuff is 'in the can' it's a good thing. Today was day two of the trail running project for Cloudveil, and now I have another sport in the can. Of course these days its a digital can that looks more like a memory card, but I still like saying 'in the can'. Like 'dont bother me, I'm in the can'. No wait, not like that.

Lucas Arnold and Mercedeeeeezzzzzz (that's her rap name) ran all over gods green earth for me for the project, and then, as usual, they did it again.

How many videographers does it take to screw in a light bulb?


One to screw it in, and one to say 'wow, great job... could you do that again?'

The Cloudveil project is halfway done... just two more sports to go: Trad climbing and mountain biking. It's a privilege to work for a company as cool as Cloudveil. The work is fun and I get to be as creative as possible. Today was a 12-hour day and I'm tired but also proud of what we did.

One from Europe

Nalle just sent me a photo of me working in Italy. We stopped on the side of the road and shot a small town on the side of a lake. Top photo is me at work. Bottom photo is what I was working on. Nalle recently sent New Base Line in Magic Wood... nice job!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kevin Jorgeson

Kevin Jorgeson knows how to rock climb. I'm in California now, staying with the man himself and shooting footage for my upcoming DVD, Pure. Kevin has been doing ropeless ascents of some of the old toprope lines in the area, and they are first-rate in terms of quality and aesthetic appeal. It's too bad there aren't hundreds of these lines all over the coast, but the singularity of the lines he's climbed make them even more special.
When you're climbing near the ocean there are a whole set of variables you need to consider that you might not normally think about. In addition to the regular bouldering stuff like temperature, humidity, time of day, etc... you have to take into account the high and low tides, the size of the swells, and the direction of the spray from the breakers. We got really lucky yesterday, Kevin decided to go for the send on a very cool problem on the coast, and we had a total of about 5 minutes of light to work with. I managed to get two angles on the climb and Kevin sent the route without falling. It's a good thing, too... the problem was not small.
Today we filmed an amazing dyno that had Kevin hucking full-power at a sloping shelf at about 16-feet. After a few tries he stuck it. I was psyched cause I did my job and stuck the footage. Aw yeah. We're back at Kevin's house now watching the TV show 'house', which is about a straight-talking doctor who says what he means and means what he says.
Have a great day.

Big Trees

I'm nearing the end of my visit to California to film with Kevin. I'll post up some pictures from the trip later, but I thought I'd share this right away... I got to visit the amazing redwood trees today. These are maybe not quite as big as the Sequoia trees of northern California, but they are really impressive plants. Some of the trees we saw today are over 300 feet tall. If you were on top of one of these trees, it would take you four rappells with a 50-meter rope to get down. (for all you math whiz-kids, you need to double the rope in order to make one rappel.)These are really amazing trees and I highly recommend checking them out if you're in the neighborhood. Kevin is a great climber and some of the footage is amazing. I'll post some up soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Paul Lennartz

This is my Grandfather, Paul Lennartz. He is an amazing person and has been an important part of my life. I just came across this photo of him so I thought I'd post it. Have a good day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My big Eco-project... Final Cut!

Today I found out that a big project I've been working on is finally ready for release. The video was made on a grant from the Department of Energy and it is designed to help educate home owners about some of the ways to make their homes more energy efficient. I am proud of this project because I like to think that I'm contributing to positive change with my video camera. With all the travel I do to film climbing I have a very large carbon footprint on the planet, and hopefully projects like this help to offset my fossil-fuel lifestyle.

Please check out the video on my portfolio page at my web site:

Today I am doing some scheduling for the coming months, coordinating my various projects and trying to cram them all into my calendar. I also made a batch of 'Tuna Snax', which is a great recipe I am developing. A couple more refinements and I'm going to make a video to share my invention with the world. Thanks to coach Dave I can barely lift my arms above my head today. Thanks, Dave.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Case of the Mondays

I'm back from my trip today. The flight went smoothly yesterday, except for a very tight transfer in Chicago. I made it onto the Denver flight but sadly my bags didn't, so I'm expecting them to show up today.

Long plane rides are always a good opportunity for introspection and deep thought. Lately the main thought in my mind is whether I'm too old to be sleeping under rocks in order to film people climbing little rocks in the forest, and on a related note... should we measure ourselves by our annual income? One thing that is for certain is the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence.

This Friday I'm leaving to California to film another segment for Pure, this time with the very talented Kevin Jorgeson. Kevin has been establishing some really amazing problems lately and the conditions should be perfect for getting some good quality footage.

This week I'm just going to catch up on business, train at the gym, and get psyched for another round of creativity.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


It's been a good week here in Switzerland. Nalle and I have managed to dodge the rain storms here and get some climbing in. Magic Wood is a really cool bouldering area, with hundreds of boulders scattered around a steep, moss-covered hillside. The living here is pretty simple. No fees for climbing, we just hike from the camp site. I have been sleeping under the bivi shelter at the camp to avoid the periodic rainstorms that come and go.

Sometimes when I travel I feel like a total world-beater who can speak the language of the locals, navigate by the stars, and find good food and cheap beer like he was born there. Not so on this trip. I've been stumbling around and failing repeatedly at the most basic tasks. Here is a partial list:

Grocery shopping:

Spent 20 min trying to find inexpensive meat. (there is none)

Bought a $8 sausage (cheapest I could find).

Threw away about $7.50 worth because I found out it was made of horse.

Arrived at check-out to find that Visa was not accepted. Delayed lots of people. Borrowed money from Nalle.


Needed to pay for camping, so went to ATM. ATM gave me a single 100-Franc note, so I needed change. Went to change machine. Got 10 10-Franc notes. Need smaller change. Went to other change machine. Put in 10 Franc notes. Received about 5 lbs of coins. Return to campsite, filled envelope with too many coins. Envelope broke putting it into slot. Figure it's okay. Next day, camp host comes and speaks Italian to me for several minutes and is very angry with me.


Go to gas station to buy phone card to call Sarah. Tell the clerk I need to "use telephone to call USA". She takes $10 and gives me a paper receipt with numbers on it. Looks good. Proceed to Swisscom phone box. Code doesn't work, so i call customer service. Wait 10 min for english customer service. Wait another 10 minutes for other english customer service. They tell me I've been sold the wrong type of code. Return to gas station and get other type of card. Return to phone box. Enter codes. Sarah's phone goes straight to voice mail. It starts raining*.

The cool part is that when I watch the footage coming off my camera it somehow makes it all worth while. Here's me at work:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Arco Rockmaster

Wow, I've just been dropped into the Super-Bowl of climbing. It's really hard to try to describe the scope of the Arco Rockmaster competition, but I can sum it up by just saying it's really really big. The whole town of Arco seems to be all about climbing. I'm not kidding... there's about 8 climbing shops in this small town... not shops that sell sports wear and energy bars... CLIMBING SHOPS that sell carabeeners and climbing shoes and ice axes. Signed posters are on the walls of the climbing stores as well as the gelato shops. Walking around town, I constantly get the feeling that I recognize people, but I know for certain that I don't. The fitness level of this town makes boulder look like a weight-watchers convention.
Right now I'm sitting inside an air-conditioned mobile press office the bring in to help folks like me do our jobs. There's an assistant here to help with the technology and to make sure the media can get the materials out about the results and the happening here at the event.
Nalle and the rest of the field for the mens bouldering event already had one practice round today. Overall the problems seemed a bit hard, as nobody was able to complete a single problem. Some of the moves only went once or twice. I think the course setters added a couple holds to ease off the difficulty some, but this afternoon the problems look basically 99% as hard as they did this morning.
Right now the crowd is numbering about 1500 and the womens sport climbing event just got under way. By the time the mens bouldering contest begins I would expect the crowd to be about double this. It looks like there's about 6 or 7 times as many people here than at the recent OR comp.
Nalle seems nervous, but I don't think that's new for him to be nervous before a comp. The field is so talented this year that winning will probably just come down to who has a better day and who's body best fits the problems. There's luck involved in some of the moves as well, with showmanship seeming to be an important part of the course setting.
The women's comp is about done now and I need to set up to film the boulder event. I'll write more this evening...
Okay, I'm back. What an exciting comp! Nalle placed 3rd overall, behind the uber-strong climbers Kilian Fischuber (who took 1st) and David Lama (2nd). Nalle was the only climber to complete the first problem, but his lead evaporated on the second problem which he was unable to finish while Kilian and David stuck a very low-percentage dyno to access the top of the problem.
On the last problem, as Nalle attempted to win the comp by being the only competitor to finish the devious slab, he pulled a large feature off the wall (not a hold... a feature) and took the bath-tub sized feature down to the mats with him. Unhurt, he was more surprised than anything. The setters bolted the thing back onto the wall and Nalle had his last try of the comp. His balance failed on the technical rock-out move and he tied the others on the final problem leading to his 3rd place finish overall.
I understand the comp was broadcast live on the Internet, and Nalle's mom phoned him right away to ask about the contents of the bouquet he was presented with during the awards and why he would throw such a nice set of flowers into the audience.
It was a great comp and I got some nice footage I'll use to contrast the split lifestyle of climbers like Nalle, who's main focus is climbing boulders outside, and who's fitness allows him to compete with the plastic specialists like Kilian. Next stop: Switzerland.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Clear Blue Skies

I spent all day at Mt. Evans with Alex Johnson. I just finished the video with her sending a bunch of hard stuff, and I dont want to give away the ending, but the picture above may be a spoiler. I leave for Italy tomorrow and the MVM video from Alex's amazing climbs should be going live soon...

Some work gets out there

Today I noticed on the Prana home page they have one of my wind turbine photos being used for their wind power initiative. I think it's great when companies commit both their marketing hype and a chunk of their profits to exploring sustainable alternatives. I genuinely love driving across Wyoming and seeing all the new wind turbines being installed across the high plateaus of the state.
There are still a lot of hurdles to cross before our electricity can come entirely from sustainable sources. One of the biggest issues is transportation (lots of power is lost as electricity travels across the lines) and reliable supply during all weather conditions and times of day.
Early-adopters are crucial for getting change going as they pay a premium and end up offsetting a large part of the initial cost of the infrastructure for change. With coal-fired electricity so imbedded in the west (think railroads, coal mines, and power plants... and the public tax subsidies that sustain them and keep them wildly profitable) it will take lots of companies like Prana and lots of effort on the part of the individual to get some change going, but I think it's coming...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This weekend my lovely girlfriend and I went up to Vedauwoo to start working on a 3-part project for Cloudveil. Each of the three shoots will feature a different sport in a new area, and in addition to doing a little bouldering our job was to film some of the hiking in Vedauwoo. It was a fun weekend and for the most part relaxing, except for a brief thunderstorm yesterday that dropped fairly large hail all over the place.

Sarah was a trooper, and was willing to hike back and forth and back and forth until I got the shot I was looking for.

On Thursday I am leaving for Milan, Italy to meet up with Nalle Hukkataival and film the Arco Rockmaster competition. Then we will go up to Switzerland for a while and boulder. I haven't been to Switzerland since 2002, so this should be a fun trip. I'm looking forward to trying some of the harder granite climbs there, and I'm also looking forward to shooting some more footage for my upcoming DVD, Pure.